Characterization of mutations contributing to sulfathiazole resistance in Escherichia coli

Gayatri Vedantam, Gordon G. Guay, Natasha E. Austria, Stella Z. Doktor, Brian P. Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


A sulfathiazole-resistant dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) present in two different laboratory strains of Escherichia coli repeatedly selected for sulfathiazole resistance was mapped to folP by P1 transduction. The folP mutation in each of the strains was shown to be identical by nucleotide sequence analysis. A single C→T transition resulted in a Pro→Ser substitution at amino acid position 64. Replacement of the mutant folP alleles with wild-type folP significantly reduced the level of resistance to sulfathiazole but did not abolish it, indicating the presence of an additional mutation(s) that contributes to sulfathiazole resistance in the two strains. Transfer of the mutant folP allele to a wild-type background resulted in a strain with only a low level of resistance to sulfathiazole, suggesting that the presence of the resistant DHPS was not in itself sufficient to account for the overall sulfathiazole resistance in these strains of E. coli. Additional characterization of an amplified secondary resistance determinant, sur, present in one of the strains, identified it as the previously identified bicyclomycin resistance determinant bcr, a member of a family of membrane-bound multidrug resistance antiporters. An additional mutation contributing to sulfathiazole resistance, sux, has also been identified and has been shown to affect the histidine response to adenine sensitivity displayed by these purU strains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-93
Number of pages6
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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